RUN-OFF-ROAD crashes remain the single biggest cause of deaths on Victoria’s country roads, new road trauma data has revealed.
Minister for Roads and Road Safety Luke Donnellan last week joined TAC chief executive Joe Calafiore and VicRoads acting CEO Peter Todd to release 2017 road trauma figures.
The data shows that of the 155 people who died on Victoria’s rural roads last year, 109 were involved in a crash where a vehicle left its lane, with 72 lives lost in single-vehicle crashes on the roadside and 37 deaths resulting from a head-on collision.
“Drivers on country roads are four times more likely to be killed on our roads than drivers in the city. It’s simply unacceptable – that’s why we’re investing more than $1 billion to make our country roads safer,” Donnellan said.
Run-off-road crashes are the major factor in regional road trauma rates across the state, with all regions recording more deaths from this crash type than any other.
Regional Victoria remains tragically over-represented in the number of lives lost on Victorian roads.
The number of people killed on rural roads increased by five in 2017, from 150 to 155, while Victoria’s overall lives lost figure dipped from 290 in 2016 to 257 last year.
It’s not only fatalities that are over-represented in country areas, one in five people seriously injured are on high-speed regional roads.
The state government is investing $1.1 billion in the Towards Zero Action Plan, which includes $340 million dedicated to infrastructure improvements on Victoria’s most high-risk rural roads.
The government is installing more than 2,000km of flexible safety barriers, which have been proven to reduce run-off-road and head-on crashes by as much as 85 per cent.